Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Monarchs Capitalize On Hoya Turnovers in Upset

All season long, No. 11 Georgetown has made the big plays when it has needed to.

But with a blizzard raging outside and Old Dominion turning up the heat inside McDonough Gymnasium, Georgetown just could not get the final break it needed to overcome its early setbacks in a 61-57 loss.

The upset stems from Georgetown’s poor shooting and its sloppy play.

Georgetown had 18 turnovers in the contest, with junior forward Julian Vaughn leading the way with five, followed by junior guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman with three each. The Monarchs made the Hoyas pay with 20 points off of turnovers.

“If I had to pick and order [things to work on]: turnovers, because it’s something we can control and we have to start to control it,” Head Coach John Thompson III said.

Turnovers have been there all season long for Georgetown, which came in averaging 15 per game, but if the Hoyas are hitting their shots, they can overcome sloppy play. On Saturday night the shots were not falling. Facing a 2-3 matchup zone most of the time from Old Dominion, Georgetown could not hit open shots around the perimeter. The Hoyas went 5-of-17 from beyond the arc and struggled to stretch the Old Dominion zone. As a result, the Monarchs were able to play a tighter zone, helping to defend sophomore center Greg Monroe and giving them better position on the defensive glass. In the final 30 seconds, Georgetown missed three three-pointers.

“We were still getting shots we needed [against the zone],” Vaughn said. “We just didn’t shoot well today.”

The Monarchs deserve credit, however. On multiple occasions throughout the game, Old Dominion was able to resist Georgetown’s attempts to kick start a comeback. In the first half the Hoyas cut the lead to eight at 24-16 only to see junior guard Ben Finney hit a three. Finney would do it again from beyond the arc in the second half after two Georgetown baskets cut a 16-point lead to 12. Then James Darius made the Hoyas pay with a trey of his own, which came after Wright failed to polish off a three-point play at the charity stripe that would have cut the lead to seven.

“They’re a balanced team, and I said this leading into it,” Thompson said about Old Dominion. “They have a team that, on any given night, any one of their guys can have a big night.”

No play, however, summed up the night Georgetown was having more than the last basket of the game.

With the Hoyas trailing 59-57 with under a minute to play, Monroe did what great players do. He anticipated a pass to the top of the key and made a break on it. Unfortunately for Georgetown, this time its sophomore star was a step too late, which ended up giving Old Dominion Keyon Carter a look at the basket. Carter’s shot went off the mark, but with Monroe at the top of the key trying to get back down low on defense, junior forward Frank Hassell had a clear rebounding lane and tipped the ball back in for an upset-sealing field goal.

“That was kind of a reaction play,” Hassell said. “I saw Keyon go up. He always shoots it with a soft touch, so I knew the ball would be somewhere around the rim and easily reboundable. I just got in there quick.”

Saturday’s matchup had all the makings of a “trap game” for Georgetown. The Hoyas were coming off of back-to-back wins over Top 25 teams, had just gone through a week of finals and were facing a quality mid-major opponent. Thompson would hear none of it, giving the credit to the Monarchs.

“That [loss] was all because of [Old Dominion],” he said. “Yes, coming out of exams you fear that, but the schedule is made for a reason.”

ost of the Hoyas’ problems can be fixed. But they just need to do it before a Dec. 23 matchup against a tough Harvard team and the start of Big East play.

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